LinkedIn Profile Header ImageIf you don’t have a LinkedIn profile already, you’re losing out big time.

In the previous post, we examined how recruiting works in the digital age. Furthermore, we established the importance of personal branding tools like LinkedIn.

As a remote worker or freelancer-in-training,  your work is going to be done online. So you will need a digital profile that blows people away and communicates your value.

In this post, I share with you 6 strategies that I use to take my LinkedIn profile to the next level and:

  • Build a network of over 1,200 connections
  • Receive strategic introductions to people I want to get in touch with
  • Receive 1-2 job offers on a weekly basis
  • Connect with individuals all over the world

Bonus: Flood your inbox with job offers using my top-secret personal branding strategies. My eBook "Personal Branding for Remote Work" contains 6 value-packed chapters revealing the steps I took to get 2-3 job offers per week, 3-4 inquiries for freelance projects, and help me rank #1 on Google for my name.

 

0) If You Haven’t Yet, Create a LinkedIn Profile

If you have not yet created a LinkedIn profile, do it now. Follow all the instructions on the LinkedIn website when setting up your profile. They do a great job of pointing out the things that matter.

Seriously, though.

Seriously, though.

You can reference my LinkedIn profile here to get a sense of what I mean.

Here’s another example of my friend Alida’s LinkedIn profile. She has arguably the most impressive LinkedIn profile I’ve ever seen and you’ll get a sense of how to make the most out of LinkedIn by looking at her profile. Pay attention to how she describes her experiences by using concise language along with links to examples of her work.

 

1) Make Your Profile as Complete as Possible

It’s important to fill out as much as you can in your LinkedIn profile. This includes:

  • Writing detailed descriptions for each position or field
  • Adding “Documents”, “Photos”, “Links”, “Videos”, and “Presentations” when possible as evidence for your work
  • Filling out your “Contact” section so people can reach you
Add Different Types of Content

You can add different types of content in addition to a description by clicking one of these buttons in your LinkedIn profile edit page

 

Adding Documents, Photos, Links, Videos or Presentations

Regarding the second point, you definitely want to add a link for every one of your job positions. Even if you haven’t done anything noteworthy, you can just add the link for the company’s website or whatever.

The reason is because when you add a link, document or any one of the choices above, your listing will look like this:

Adding a link to your description

LinkedIn creates a nice graphic to go along with whatever you linked, making your listing look way more legit. This is where first impressions count: if your LinkedIn profile looks more impressive and aesthetically pleasing to a viewer, you gain more credibility. 

The more you can show for the professional work you’ve done in the past, the better you’ll look. Granted, only write down things that you’ve really done.

The more you complete your profile, the higher your “Profile Strength” will be. You want to be an All-Star!

LinkedIn All Star

 

Filling Out Your Contact Section

Now you want to make sure you fill out your contact section. This is so that people can contact you and also look at any other social media profiles you may have.

To do this, click the “Contact Info” on the bottom right of your Profile Header on your profile page:

LinkedIn Contact Information 1

You’ll see the options to add an email, phone, IM, address in addition to your social media profiles and websites. Fill in as much as you are willing to disclose on LinkedIn.

You’ll also see on the bottom left your Profile URL. In this case my URL is: http://www.linkedin.com/in/victorkung:

LinkedIn Contact Information 2

Yours will probably be a messy and long URL. To change this into something cleaner, hover over your URL and you’ll see a gear icon where you can change it. A cleaner LinkedIn URL will come across as more legit and professional. 

Bonus: Flood your inbox with job offers using my top-secret personal branding strategies. My eBook "Personal Branding for Remote Work" contains 6 value-packed chapters revealing the steps I took to get 2-3 job offers per week, 3-4 inquiries for freelance projects, and help me rank #1 on Google for my name.

 

2) Build Your Network On a Daily Basis

Once you have your LinkedIn profile in place, you’re ready to start networking and connecting with others. Here are two things you should always do:

  • Connect with existing professional and personal contacts (friends, classmates, co-workers old and new). To do this:

– If you remember their names off the top of your head, look them up in the LinkedIn search bar on the top of the page

LinkedIn Profile Step 1

 

– Otherwise, hover over the “Add Connections” icon and click “People You May Know – See All” where LinkedIn will recommend potential contacts based on your existing network, email contacts, and etc.

LinkedIn Profile Step 2

 

  • After meeting someone new, follow up with a LinkedIn request:

  – Make sure you include a personalized message instead of using the generic LinkedIn invitation message.

Generic Invitation LinkedIn

This is the generic LinkedIn connection text. Do not leave things generic! Be personal.

People will be pleasantly surprised by a thoughtful personal message and will react more positively. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can build your network just by implementing these strategies habitually over a short period of time.

 

3) Leverage Your Network for Opportunities

Now that you are building up a sizable LinkedIn network, you can tap into it to look for job opportunities or to connect with certain people outside of your network.

For example, say you’re interested in a job posting at “Company X”. You can use LinkedIn to

(1) see if you know anyone in your network who is from Company X or

(2) knows someone from Company X.

To do this, just use LinkedIn’s search feature to search for “Company X” or an individual you know who works at “Company X”.

company-page

On the right-hand side of the company page, you will be able to see your first-degree and second-degree connections from the company.  


Some quick definitions:

1st-degree – People you’re directly connected to because you’ve accepted their invitation to connect, or they’ve accepted your invitation. You’ll see a 1st degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can contact them by sending a message on LinkedIn.

2nd-degree – People who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. You’ll see a 2nd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile. You can send them an invitation by clicking Connect or contact them through an InMail. Learn more about InMail.

3rd-degree – People who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. You’ll see a 3rd degree icon next to their name in search results and on their profile.

  • If their full first and last names are displayed, you can send them an invitation by clicking Connect.
  • If only the first letter of their last name is displayed, clicking Connect isn’t an option but you can contact them through an InMail.

To find someone’s contact information on LinkedIn, you can typically find their email under the “Contact Information” section under their profile.

LinkedIn Profile Step 3

 

Here’s a trick for second-degree connections: you can go on their profiles to find someone you know who and request an introduction. 

For example, if I go to a second-degree connection’s LinkedIn profile and look on the right-hand side, I’ll see a section titled: “How You’re Connected”

how-you-are-connected-linkedin

 

You can then go through a list of your connections who can introduce you to the person. I’ve used this many times to get in touch with certain individuals.

Bonus: Flood your inbox with job offers using my top-secret personal branding strategies. My eBook "Personal Branding for Remote Work" contains 6 value-packed chapters revealing the steps I took to get 2-3 job offers per week, 3-4 inquiries for freelance projects, and help me rank #1 on Google for my name.

 

4) Mind Your Privacy

Since LinkedIn is a professional social network, I would be wary of having your LinkedIn activity be popping up on everyone’s newsfeeds. So I recommend going to your account page to take a look at the privacy settings available to you.

Here’s how you get to the page:

LinkedIn Profile Step 4

Since you’re likely going to be looking at other people’s profiles, I would recommend turning off who can see when you view their profiles. If you don’t turn this off, people will be able to see your name listed as someone who has viewed their profile. Creepy.

Here’s how you turn this off on the Privacy & Settings page:

LinkedIn Profile Step 5

 

Feel free to configure other options available to you on the Privacy & Settings page to your liking.

 

5) Rack Up Ringing Endorsements

It’s all fine and dandy reading the good things you wrote about yourself on your LinkedIn profile. But nothing speaks louder than what other people say about you. 

There are two ways to do this on LinkedIn:

1. Skills & Endorsements

When you scroll down on your LinkedIn profile, you’ll reach a section called “Skills & Endorsements”. This is where you can list the skills that you have. This is also where your connections can upvote each skill. Each vote adds a +1 to that skill.

Skills & Endorsements

There are two ways I recommend building up your endorsement numbers:

  • Endorse others. When you vouch for your other connections, it’s likely that they’ll do the same for you as well. You can endorse others in two ways:
    • Go to their profile and scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section. And then click on the skill you want to endorse them for.
    • Sometimes you’ll see a box in your LinkedIn homepage or profile page that prompts you to endorse people for certain skills.

 

2. Recommendations

Recommendations are hands-down the most impressive thing you can do on LinkedIn. Scroll down to the bottom of your LinkedIn profile to the “Recommendations” section. Click “Ask to be recommended”

Recommendations Section - LinkedIn

Then it will take you to a page where you can select the type of recommendation you want and who you want to ask.

I love asking for recommendations on LinkedIn because:

(1) the recommendation will be visible for all to see on LinkedIn, and

(2) you are free to copy these recommendations and to use them elsewhere, for example, on your portfolio website

Here are a few tips:

  • Before messaging the person through LinkedIn, make sure you contact them via email, phone call, or speak to them in-person to ask them if they would be willing to provide a recommendation for you.
  • Make sure you’ve worked with this individual before and that you did good work for them

 

Ask And You Shall Receive

The biggest takeaway from this section is the importance of asking for what you want. When you see apps with a 5-star ratings or websites with glowing testimonials you need to realize that these things don’t just happen.

No matter how good you or the product or service you provide are, it is unlikely people will go out of their way to endorse you. Unless they are asked to do so. 

You need to realize the following truth: people get what they ask for.

Oliver Twist GIF

Please sir, can I have some more?

Think about the times you’ve used your favorite web or mobile apps. At some point, you probably get some kind of popup asking you to rate, review or to complete a survey. Most of the time you might just exit out, but sometimes you’ll give them your five minutes to help them out.

It’s the exact same thing for personal branding. Very few people will endorse you on LinkedIn unless you ask them to do so.

 

6) Use LinkedIn’s Blogging Capabilities to Write Thoughtful Articles

An underused feature on LinkedIn is its blogging capabilities. LinkedIn is a great network for you to showcase your thoughts and knowledge with others. 

By writing about things you are knowledgeable or passionate about, you can establish yourself as a thought leader within your niche. An important thing to focus on when blogging on LinkedIn is that your content should be tailored for your professional / business network.

Here is an in-depth article written by Carly Stec from Hubspot (@) that discusses publishing posts on LinkedIn Pulse. It goes through everything you need to know about the platform:

To publish a post on LinkedIn, go to your LinkedIn homepage. You’ll see a button named “Publish a post” near the top of your page:

Publishing on LinkedIn

I have been writing blog posts for over a year on my personal blog TheRemoteLifestyle.com. But I’ve only recently begun to also post my articles on LinkedIn.

I have been really surprised by how many people read blog posts on LinkedIn all over the world and how many engaging connections and conversations I’ve been able to make through LinkedIn Pulse.

If you’re an avid blogger I would recommend also posting some of your content on LinkedIn. Make sure to pick content that fits the LinkedIn audience the most instead of just copying and pasting everything.

 

Remember: It’s a Marathon, Not a Race

These 6 strategies will help your LinkedIn profile go a long way. But keep in mind that these things take time.

There’s no need to spend an obnoxious amount of time on LinkedIn every day. Just treat these tips as daily or weekly habits.

Before long, you’ll realize the results you’re getting and be pleasantly surprised by what a great tool LinkedIn is. Despite its many criticisms, LinkedIn is here to stay. So tame the beast!

 

Next Step: Creating Your Own Personal Website

In the following post in this series, I walk you through the process of building your own personal website… in just one click! Read more about it here:

 


 

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments by posting in the “Comments” section below. If you found this helpful, be sure to share it with your friends!

In the next few weeks, I will be creating a monster guide on how to build a personal website on Strikingly, Squarespace or on WordPress. It will be the most comprehensive guide available online. Stay tuned.


 

My eBook "Personal Branding for Remote Work: The 4-Step Guide to Building a Personal Brand That Lands You Your Dream Job" walks you through 4+ strategies to create the perfect professional profile for remote work. Get it for free by clicking the image below!